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Christian Activist Denies Asking Colorado Bakery to Make 'God Hates Gays' Cake
LINK A Christian activist who filed a complaint against a Colorado bakery for refusing to make two cakes protesting against homosexuality has denied asking for the confections to include the phrase "God hates gays."

President Obama to Attend Prayer Breakfast With Dalai Lama Risking China's Wrath
LINK President Barack Obama is scheduled to attend the annual National Prayer Breakfast with the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama in Washington next week, a move that is expected to anger China.

Episcopal Diocese of Maryland Asks Bishop Heather Cook to Resign After Arrest for Fatal DUI
LINK In a move that many onlookers saw as inevitable, the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland this week formally asked its embattled Bishop Suffragan, Heather Cook, to resign from her post in light of ongoing criminal proceedings launched against her by local authorities for the fatal DUI incident that took the life of 41-year-old married father of two, Thomas Palermo.

Banning Christian University Grads From Practicing Law Over Opposition to Homosexuality Isn't Legal, Rules Canadian Court
LINK A Canadian province's highest court has ruled that a Christian academic institute's lawyers can't banned from practicing law due to the university's views on homosexuality.

Texas Executes Man With Very Low IQ; Second Such Case This Week
LINK Texas executed Robert Ladd, 57, after appeals to spare his life due to diminished mental capacity all failed.

Pastor Saeed Abedini Thanks Obama for Visiting His Wife, Children; Says Christians Around the World Inspired by Meeting
LINK Pastor Saeed Abedini has thanked President Barack Obama for visiting his wife, Naghmeh, and two children last week in Boise, Idaho. Abedini, who is serving an eight-year sentence in Iran for his faith, said that Obama's gesture inspired many persecuted Christians around the world.

You Thought Conservatives Were Moralistic? Liberal Rules for Political Correctness Are Repressive, Exhausting, Liberal Author Complains
LINK While conservatives are often considered moralistic to a fault, liberal moralism has become so repressive that some liberals now fear everyday conversations.

Sherri Shepherd Posts Cryptic Tweet as 'Angry' Surrogate Speaks Out Against Her in First Interview
LINK Sherri Shepherd posted a cryptic tweet about the importance of one's character on Thursday, after a woman claiming to be her surrogate spoke out against her.

'Stop Insulting Our Military' Republican-Led Petition Drive Supporting 'American Sniper' Movie, Condemning 'Hollywood Liberals,' Gains 'Tremendous Support'
LINK A Republican organization which recently launched a petition calling on "Hollywood liberals" to stop disrespecting the military amid criticism of Clint Eastwood's blockbuster film "American Sniper," says it has had "tremendous support" from the public.

Marissa Alexander Released After 3 Years in Prison, Wants to 'Move On' With Her Life
LINK Marissa Alexander, the woman jailed in Florida after firing a warning shot at her abusive ex-husband, was released from jail on Tuesday after consenting to a plea deal.

Sociologists: 'Christianophobia,' Anti-Christian Hostility Infects Powerful Elite Subculture (Interview)
LINK A small, but elite group of Americans demonstrate signs of anti-Christian hostility, sociologists David Williamson and George Yancey claim in their new book, "So Many Christians, So Few Lions: Is There Christianophobia in the United States?"

Boy Scout's 'Perversion' Files Reveals 'Sordid History of Sexual Abuse' in Organization, Says Lawyer
LINK An attorney involved in a civil lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America over the sexual abuse of a 13-year-old boy by an adult volunteer says documents kept by the organization for nearly a century known as the "perversion files" reveal a "sordid history of child sexual abuse."

Michigan County Officials Vote to Re-Install Sign With Bible Verse on Public Property
LINK Michigan county officials have voted to re-install a sign with a Bible verse on it at a public park after the display had been removed late last year.

Warren Lee Hill Executed Despite Questions Surrounding Intellectual Capacity
LINK Georgia put Warren Hill to death on Tuesday despite numerous protests from those stating he was not mentally capable of understanding what was happening to him.

'American Sniper' Widow Shares Fondest Memory of War Hero Chris Kyle; 'Our First Kiss Was Soft, Sweet, Simple'
LINK "American Sniper" widow Taya Kyle shared her fondest memory of her late husband Chris, the former Navy SEAL who inspired Clint Eastwood's latest blockbuster film.

Prison Chaplain Awarded $4M in Damages After NYPD Cop Deliberately Breaks Leg; 'They Thought I was Some Thug'
LINK A Corrections Department chaplain who claimed an NYPD officer deliberately broke his leg during an arrest has been awarded $3.95 million damages, but the city wants to challenge the verdict.

Jodi Arias Sentencing Retrial: Defense Rests Its Case
LINK Jodi Arias' defense attorneys have rested their case in the penalty phase of the convicted killer's retrial in Phoenix without calling her back to the witness stand.

'Pending Apocalypse,' Could Be Reason for Suicide-Homicides of Utah Family
LINK A family of five in Utah found dead in their home are alleged victims of suicide and murder, and authorities believe the parents took their own lives and those of their children due to a fear of the biblical apocalypse.

San Francisco Priest Bans Girls From Being Altar Servers
LINK A San Francisco priest recently made the decision to ban girls from being altar servers in his church.

Jewish Newspaper Editor Calls for 'Jewish Megachurch,' Says 'We Have Much to Learn From Evangelicals'
LINK An editor with a well-established Jewish news publication argues that American Judaism has lessons to learn from Evangelicals and how they approach worship.

News from Christian News Wire

Christian Newswire: Religious Liberties / Persecution
LINK Religious Liberties / Persecution

Bible Scholars Reveal 'God's Battle Plan' to Defeat ISIS
LINK Contact: Janis Backing, 312-329-2108

U.S. Rep. Smith on 'Religious Freedom Day:' Advancing Religious Liberty Worldwide Must Be a U.S. Priority
LINK Contact: Jeff Sagnip, 202-225-3765, chrissmith.house.gov WASHINGTON, Jan. 16, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ -- "The recent attacks in Paris and Nigeria remind us again that religious freedom and religious engagement need to be central pillars of U.S. foreign policy and national security strategywe ignore this fact at our peril," said Cong. Chris Smith, (NJ-04) Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Human Rights.  "Too many people are jailed, suffer, or die for Source: Congressman Chris Smith

Georgia Right to Life Supports Religious Liberty Effort
LINK Contact: Nancy Stith, Georgia Right to Life, 770-339-6880

Dr. Alveda King Reminds Mayor, Fire Chief: 'It All Started with an Apple'
LINK Contact: Leslie Palma, 347-286-7277

FBI Commands FAA to Ground (censor) Florida Family Association Aircraft with Banner that Stated 'AIG SPONSORS JIHAD TV'
LINK Contact: David Caton, Florida Family Association, 813-690-4829

Hypocrisy Runs Deep at 'Washington Post'
LINK Contact: Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, 212-371-3191, pr@catholicleague.org

ExtinguishIntolerance.com Campaign Calls on Atlanta Mayor to Reinstate Ousted Fire Chief
LINK Faith Driven Consumer launches petition campaign asking Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to apologize for discriminating against Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran -- fired simply for expressing his protected religious convictions -- and reinstate him immediately

Indiana Supreme Court Strikes Down Overreach by State's Civil Rights Commission
LINK Thomas More Society Wins Appeal for Catholic Homeschool Group

Federal Court Rules that Michigan Firm, Autocam, Not Required to Provide Abortion Coverage
LINK Thomas More Society Wins Lengthy Lawsuit in Defense of Religious Liberty for Christian-Owned Business

Jihadists Massacring Copts in Libya; Urgent Intervention Needed to Pre-empt Pogroms
LINK Contact: Lindsay Vessey, Coptic Solidarity, 801-512-1713, info@copticsolidarity.org WASHINGTON, Jan. 6, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ -- Coptic Solidarity strongly condemns the systematic targeting by Islamic militants of Christian Copts in Libya, and urges Egypt and the international community to act immediately as the entire migrant community is in grave danger. The Jihadists of the Ansar al Sharia (Defenders of Sharia), supporters of the Islamic State, have been kidnapping and murd Source: Coptic Solidarity

IRD's Top Church News Stories of 2014
LINK Contact: Jeff Walton, Institute on Religion and Democracy, 202-682-4131, 202-413-5639, jwalton@TheIRD.org

Bishop E.W. Jackson Launches Prayer For Police
LINK Contact: Sandy Adams, 757-375-6444, sandy@standamerica.us; Martin Brown, 804-874-6706, martin@standamerica.us; both with S.T.A.N.D.

International Olympic Committee OKs the Persecution of Christians While Giving Homosexuals and Transgenders a Pass
LINK Contact: 4 WINDS, 608-469-7956

Foundation for Moral Law Criticizes Obama/Communist Cuba Plans
LINK Contact: Martha Till, Foundation for Moral Law, 334-262-1245

Nativity Scene will Remain in Franklin County, Indiana this Christmas
LINK Thomas More Society Reaches Temporary Agreement with ACLU of Indiana

Masterworks Announces Open Doors as Newest Client/Partner
LINK Masterworks is pleased to welcome Open Doors USA to our vibrant client family

Will the ACLU Steal Christmas in Indiana?
LINK Thomas More Society to face ACLU and Freedom from Religion Foundation in Emergency Hearing Over Nativity Scene

Coptic Solidarity Launches Advocacy Campaign for Imprisoned Christian Mohammed Hegazi
LINK Contact: Lindsay Vessey, Coptic Solidarity, 801-512-1713, info@copticsolidarity.org WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Coptic Solidarity announces the launch of an advocacy campaign seeking the immediate and unconditional release of Mohammed Hegazi.  Mr. Hegazi -- who goes by his adopted Christian name Bishoy Armeya Boulos -- has been the subject of numerous spurious charges and sentences, prolonged detentions and threats to his and his family's lives.  H Source: Coptic Solidarity

Ratio Christi Club Kicked Off of San Jose State University Campus
LINK Contact: John Stewart, Director, Ratio Christi International, 657-201-1151, johnstewart@ratiochristi.org

Georgia Baptist Convention Defends Religious Liberty, Calls on Atlanta Mayor to Reverse Discipline of Atlanta Fire Chief
LINK Contact: Mike Griffin, Public Affairs Spokesman, 706-436-2646, mgriffin@gabaptist.org; Mark Strange, Communications, 770-936-5233, mstrange@gabaptist.org; both with Georgia Baptist Convention

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